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Thursday, October 1, 2015, 13:40

Another blast hits S China's city, 7 dead

By Agencies

BEIJING — An explosion damaged a six-story building on Thursday morning in southern China, less than a day after more than a dozen blasts triggered by explosive devices delivered in mail packages killed at least seven people and injured over 50 in the same county in southern China, officials and state media said.

The latest blast, which occurred at around 8 am, hit a civilian's house near a highway administration bureau in Liucheng in Guangxi region, which borders Vietnam, but it was not immediately known if there were any casualties, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

Another blast hits S China's city, 7 dead
A nurse prepares to transfer a man injured by a mail bomb blast to a hospital in Liuzhou city from the People's Hospital in Liucheng county in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Sept 30, 2015. (Chinatopix Via AP)

The Ministry of Public Security said it was treating the blasts on Wednesday as a criminal act, and not terrorism. It said a 33-year-old local man, identified only by his family name of Wei, was considered a suspect, but provided no further details, including a possible motive or whether the man had been detained. Local media reported that the suspect had been apprehended.

Xinhua said that the suspect had hired others to help deliver the bombs.

A local Communist Party newspaper, the Guangxi Daily, cited police as saying there were 17 explosions Wednesday afternoon in Liucheng, leaving seven people dead, two missing and 51 injured.

Police in Liucheng said they will hold a news conference later Thursday.

Wednesday's explosions, which occurred between 3:15 pm and 5 pm, hit a hospital, local markets, a shopping mall, a bus station and several government buildings, including a jail and dormitories for government workers, according to a police statement posted by the local newspaper Nanguo Zaobao.

Another blast hits S China's city, 7 dead
A view of a residential building partially collapsed by what police are describing as explosive devices delivered in mail packages in Liucheng county in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Sept 30, 2015. (Chinatopix Via AP)

"There were so many of them, and they were so loud, everyone in (Liucheng) could hear them," said a hotel employee who gave only his family name, Li. The hotel is near a township office building that was hit by one of the explosions.

"They sounded like someone was blasting rocks in the mountains," Li said.

Zhou Changqing, the police chief for the city of Liuzhou, which has jurisdiction over Liucheng, said the blasts were triggered by explosive devices delivered in several mail packages, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

Another blast hits S China's city, 7 dead
A nurse prepares to transfer a man injured by a mail bomb blast to a hospital in Liuzhou city from the People's Hospital in Liucheng county in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Sept 30, 2015. (Chinatopix Via AP)

A supermarket employee said the store was evacuated immediately when an adjacent supermarket was hit by an explosion.

"All of us heard the blast. It was very loud," he said by phone.

Photos posted online showed streets filled with smoke, strewn debris, dust clouds in the sky and the rubble from a five-story building that had partially collapsed.

Xinhua reported that at least one more explosion hit downtown Liuzhou, away from Liucheng. It did not say whether there were any casualties from that blast or whether it was connected to the ones in Liucheng.

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